Double-Amputee Track Star Oscar Pistorius Charged With Shooting, Killing His Girlfriend [UPDATES]

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Details are thin, but according to reports out of Johannesburg, Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympic and Paralympic sprinter, mistakenly took his girlfriend for a burglar and fatally shot her in the head and arm early Thursday morning.

Almost six million South Africans have guns, and the nation has one of the world's highest gun ownership rates at 12.7 forearms per 100 people.

Pistorius lives in Pretoria, which was recently named one of the most dangerous places in the country when it comes to house robberies.

A recent report named the city as one of the top 20 most dangerous and violent areas to live in.

According to police spokeswoman Sarah Mcira, Pistorius's girlfriend died at the scene. Pistorius has been taken into custody and will appear in Pretoria Magistrate's Court later Thursday morning. We'll update as warranted.


Update, 2:40 a.m.: Bryan Armen Graham is reporting that the woman Pistorius shot was Reeva Steenkamp, a model and law graduate. According to South African media, Steenkamp was trying to deliver a surprise Valentine's Day gift [see 8 a.m. update below].


Update, 3:02 a.m.: NBC News reports that a 26-year-old man is being charged with murder in connection with the shooting.

"We can confirm a 26-year-old man has been taken into custody following a complaint by a neighbor that there was a shooting at the home of Oscar Pistorius," a police spokesman told NBC News. "He is being charged with murder and he will appear in the Pretoria regional court later this afternoon."


Pistorius is 26, but according to the Daily Mail, police have not confirmed the man's identity. A 9mm was recovered from the scene and Steenkamp was reportedly shot four times.

Police spokesperson Katlego Mogale told eNCA that she could not confirm the man's identity until he appears in court.


Update, 3:15 a.m.: The AP is now reporting that police are confirming Pistorius was "involved in a shooting at his home."

Update, 4 a.m.: Sky News appears to confirm that Steenkamp was the victim and has a quote from her publicist, Sarit Tomlinson, who said the Steenkamp family was "'devastated' by the news."


Update, 8 a.m.: Earlier reports alleging that the shooting was an accident did not come from the police, according to police spokesperson Denise Beukes. Via the AP:

"It would be very premature and very irresponsible of me to say what actually has happened," Beukes said. "There have been allegations. We are not sure."

Beukes also said there had been previous incidents and "allegations of a domestic nature" at the home of the Olympic star and double-amputee runner, who is one of South Africa's and the world's most famous sportsmen and made history at the London Games last year by being the first double-amputee runner to compete at the Olympics.

"I'm not going to elaborate on it but there have been incidents (at Pistorius' home)," Beukes said.


Oscar shoots girlfriend in mix-up – report [IOL]
Oscar Pistorius 'shot, killed' girlfriend - reports [Herald Sun]